BRAND DESIGN: the book

Our partner / director Ruud Boer writes in his free time; he’s the author of BRAND DESIGN.
Currently in its 6th edition and 17th impression, the book is used in every higher professional education programme in the Netherlands.
We are rather proud of that.

Successful book

Since the introduction of the book BRAND DESIGN in 2002, Brand Design has become a key concept in many boardrooms and for marketers of brands large and small.. More and more universities of applied sciences in the Netherlands and Belgium realize that branding is an important part of their marketing programme, which is why they use BRAND DESIGN by Ruud Boer RM.

‘Helpful for every marketeer.’


‘It’s super to have an authority in our own language who explains so clearly and practically how strategic marketing principles are applied in practice.’
Luuk Ros ; Manager Content & Business for NIMA


‘The standard Dutch work for building brands.’
Harry van Delft, Associate Professor of Agrifood Marketing at HAS University

Boek Brand Design Editie 6 - door Ruud Boer RM

What is brand design?

Brand Design means defining the mental brand identity (brand interior), designing the visual brand identity (brand exterior) and rolling them out into all physical and digital brand touch points.(de merkuitingen).


Branding (building brands and keeping them going with ever new brand associations) is one of the main tools for marketing (putting consumers / customers first in all business activities). In branding, Brand Design is used to develop the brand in pictures and text. The relation between the three terms: marketing > branding > Brand Design.

The Brand Design model as the basis

The book is based on the Brand Design model developed by Ruud Boer. The model is applied from the inside out:

  • Mental brand identity: identifying the most relevant position, direction and aim of the brand.
  • Visual brand identity: designing an attractive and differentiating look and feel for the brand.
  • Brand touch points: developing all physical and digital brand touch points.
  • Orchestration: aligning, embedding and introducing the new Brand Design internally.
  • Brand activation: bringing the brand to life in the hearts and minds of the target group.


Yes, I want to download the Brand Design model.

Brand Design Model Ruud Boer ENG

Cannot do without Brand Design

More and more businesses realize how important it is to have a powerful brand identity that is expressed in pictures and text. Although they have been around for ages, brands really took off in the past decade. Products and services are looking more and more alike, and strong brands provide relevance, differentiation and credibility. Advances in the digital world have led to the introduction of new brands like Netflix, HBO and Spotify. The Interbrands top 100 brands in the world now include three ‘digital brands’ in the top 5: Google (no. 2), Microsoft (no. 3) and Amazon (no. 5). They’ve got their Brand Design nailed down, both physically and digitally. But also the government increasingly realizes that a clear brand policy is key to their ‘offering’ and that they have a lot to learn from Brand Design for consumer and business-to-business marketing.

Why this book?

Lots of dry-as-dust books have been written about the theory of marketing, brands and communication. Some stunning design books have been published as well. But the connection between branding and design was always virgin territory. This book bridges that gap in the market and can therefore make a positive contribution to the field. The book is written for anyone who works with brands, is being trained to work with brands or is just interested in the world of strong brands. The book explains everything involved in creating a strong brand, with lots of practical examples to understand and apply the theory.

Brand identity and brand image

The book is about brand identity, which is not the same as brand image. Brand identity comes from the sender, from the brand owner. It tells us how the target group is meant to experience the brand. Brand Design forms this into pictures and text, to make the brand ‘market-ready’. After that, brand activation brings the brand to life for the target group, which forms an image of it: the brand image. The brand image therefore comes from the receiver; it’s the result of all brand messages to the target group. If everything works, this image is not so far off from its identity as conceived by the brand owner. If image research shows that they don’t correlate, then it’s time to act, which is where this book comes in handy.

Brand identity vs brandimage


The 6th edition of this book has about 370 pages and eight chapters of concise theory, practical models and lots of full-colour examples from real life:

  • Chapter 1 The brand
  • Chapter 2 Brandstrategy
  • Chapter 3 Brand design
  • Chapter 4 Mental brand identity
  • Chapter 5 Visual brand identity
  • Chapter 6 Physical brand touch points
  • Chapter 7 Digital brand touch points
  • Chapter 8 Brand activation


Download chapter 1 (in Dutch) for free below.


The book can be ordered (in Dutch) for €42.95 from a variety of sellers, such as and Order here 

We’d be delighted to meet you to explain how we can make your
brand and organization grow too.